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post #287 of Old 12-22-2012
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Re: Venture 17 restoration

Sailing season is effectively over here in PA. Boat-dreaming-season in full swing! Anyone have a dodger on their V17? I 've been dreaming of building a small hard dodger for wet or cold days. Sitting on the block of wood that the keel winch hangs from is pretty comfy. Legs inside the cabin, hatch slid back. Got through a rainy afternoon like that. All controls were accessible and my tiller clutch kept me on course. But I still got a wet head and face. I was smiling the whole time, but I wear prescription glasses and don't like them being rain- splattered the whole trip. A dodger would have perfect.

I was thinking of a hard dodger that just clears the boom (which I could raise easily enough) with a wood or possibly PVC frame and plexi windows and roof. A simple hand-powered wiper (as found on street rods) could clear a small portion of the window for clear visibility of oncoming boats, etc. The rest would be waxed so rain would bead up and fall away.

Roof would be a tinted piece of plexi so sail and masthead windex would be visible, but dark enough to avoid cooking if the weather turned sunny. Controls could be led inside the dodger, or I could reach around it to access them.

I even have visions of using the boat as a cold weather fishing boat. I could even mount some blocks on the lifeline stanchions and steer the boat with a lever or wheel from the comfort of a semi-enclosed cockpit. - basically a boom tent and dodger combo. No upward visibility needed, as I'd be motoring only.

I know it's not what these were designed for, but they do motor quite well, even with a tiny motor. And dropping the keel helps with rocking in "Chesapeake chop". My cabin provides a private head, a butane stove, and shelter. Sure beats an open fishing boat in late November.

Am I crazy?

Keep the expenses low and the good times high.

S/V Waitara
Venture 21
PA Freshwater / Chesapeake
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